The Bite-Sized series of articles is meant to take the most powerful cards in Dominion and give a short explanation of what makes them powerful.
It’s easy to look at Masquerade and get too focused on the passing portion of the card, but this is not really what makes it powerful. Drawing multiple cards while being able to thin makes Masquerade a potent force for early deck control, and when you throw in its low cost, it winds up being one of the strongest cards in the game. It’s very rare that you can open with a card that allows you to thin your deck and also buy a good card on that same turn, unless of course you had a 5/2 opening.
The passing portion of the card is not completely insignificant, though. You really don’t want to pass good cards to your opponent, which means you can’t get so thin that you don’t expect to draw at least one bad card in your opening hand. Masquerade also has synergy with discard attacks, because if you have actions remaining after making your opponent discard, there is still the threat that you will play a Masquerade, which will force them to pass you a good card unless they kept a bad card after getting discard-attacked.